The Big Picture: How C.J. Holmes Fits

Irish Illustrated takes an in-depth look at what Notre Dame will get from four-star athlete C.J. Holmes, who projects primarily as a running back in Notre Dame’s offense.


C.J. Holmes of Cheshire (Conn.) Academy is the nation’s No. 15 athlete and No. 203 overall prospect.

The Irish pitched the 6-foot, 200-pound athlete on a role similar to C.J. Prosise. Holmes is an athlete in the truest form in that he utilizes power and speed to make plays all over the field. 

Holmes was arguably the best skill player on the field at Irish Invasion, where he took reps in the slot and outside.


Holmes chose Notre Dame over offers from Alabama, Boston College, Michigan, Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Syracuse and UCLA.

Holmes had a top three of Penn State, Tennessee and Syracuse in early May, but once Notre Dame offered on May 20, the Irish emerged as a serious contender. Notre Dame got Holmes and his mother on campus for a three-night visit for Irish Invasion, and Holmes almost ended his recruitment on the spot.

The Irish are now heavy favorites to land Holmes’ teammate Tarik Black, who publicly announces a decision in January. Black has told Irish Illustrated that he’ll likely make a silent commitment this month.

With the addition of Holmes, Notre Dame now has commitments from two the nation’s top 20 athletes (Paulson Adebo).


Notre Dame is OK with taking only one running back this cycle, especially if it loads up on athletes at wide receiver. It’s still recruiting Florida running back Colin Wilson, who visited for Irish Invasion, but Louisville likely has the edge. Other running back candidates could emerge this fall.


In 2017, Notre Dame won’t field a senior running back. Josh Adams, Justin Brent and Dexter Williams will have junior eligibility, assuming all three remain on the roster. Tony Jones Jr. and Deon McIntosh both enrolled this summer, which means they could still have four years of eligibility remaining if they red-shirt this season.

Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral four-star running back Markese Stepp in on board for 2018. Top Stories